Cage 22, that takes place on 11th of May in Vantaa, Finland, has a strong card with great mixture of established and highly regarded veterans on the main card and talented up-n-comers on the under card. One of the tough veterans on the main card is Finland’s own Marcus “Caveman” Vänttinen (21-5) who takes on the French brawler Boubacar “Black Out” Balde (9-5) in a light heavyweight match up that has a promise of excitement written all over it.
Finnish powerhouse Marcus “Caveman” Vänttinen has been among the top Euro light heavyweight prospects for few years now. The Finn gathered a string of notable wins in the Euro circuit between 2009 and 2011. During this time Vänttinen beat respectable Euro talents Martin Zawada, Ivan Serati, Antoni Chmielewski as well as UFC veterans Edwin Dewees and Ron Faircloth. Vänttinen tested the waters of the major leagues at Bellator in April of 2012 but unfortunately the Finn fought John Hawk with a serious knee injury that really showed in his performance. After the unsuccessful Bellator debut Vänttinen had surgery on the knee and is now working on his way back to top form.
As a fighter Vänttinen is a powerful grinder with solid skills in all areas of the game. The long limbed and physically powerful Finn is at his best in the clinch and on the ground when he’s on top. In his previous fights once Vänttinen has established top position, he has been a nightmare for his opponents with his heavy Ground and Pound and strong posture.
Marcus Vänttinen vs Malid Merak at Fight Festival 31
France’s Boubacar Balde is no stranger to Finnish MMA fans. Balde fought last year at Carelia Fight 8 where he shocked the crowd and scored a flash knock out over UFC veteran Lucio Linhares in the opening seconds of the first round. The Frenchman has been fighting professional MMA bouts for just two years but he has wide skill base with little weaknesses. Besides Linhares he has also notable win over Johan Romming under his belt. Balde is a stocky ball of muscle who is explosive by nature and packs a mean punch. Though he favors fighting on the feet, Balde also has a pretty good double leg shot and an active ground game.
Boubacar Balde Highlight
Summary: As far as physical attributes go Vänttinen will hold a significant reach and size advantage over Balde. Vänttinen walks around at about 103 kilos (228 lbs) while much shorter Balde looks like he hardly has to cut to make the light heavyweight limit. Vänttinen should try to put his size and strength in good use by roughing up Balde in the clinch and tire him a bit before taking him down and punishing him on the ground. Balde is the faster striker of the two so one would guess he’ll try to keep the fight on the feet.